Swedish artist JH Engström (born 1969) is an inveterate bookmaker. Most recently, his published works have explored ideas of place and home, including Sketch of Paris (Aperture, 2013), La Résidence (2010), From Back Home (2009) and CDG/JHE (2008). After more than a decade of such thematic projects, Tout Va Bien returns to the looser, more associative approach of Engström’s critically acclaimed volume Trying to Dance (2003). The source for these photographs is nevertheless strongly autobiographical, as well as vividly metaphorical; a reemphasis of the artist’s belief in photography's potential as visual poetry. The sequencing is highly charged with contrasts: black-and-white images mix with color; the gentle beauty of coastal rocks clashes with a flash-lit image of the bright, blood-red placentas from the birth of his twins. The book leaves it to the viewer to map his or her own network of meaning from image to image, page to page.
For more than 20 years, Swedish photographer JH Engström (born 1969) has spent time living and working in Paris, a city that, like New York, has a long photographic pedigree; countless photographers have been inspired by its iconic architecture and busy streets. Sketch of Paris, however, is hardly a catalog of classic Parisian scenes, offering instead a raw yet lyrical portrayal of the artist’s misadventures, loves and random encounters in its streets, bars and artist lofts--an entirely personal Paris. Drawing more from Nan Goldin and Anders Peters than Atget or Henri Cartier-Bresson, Engström brings us on a gritty, no-holds-barred guided tour of life in his adopted city. The book brings together more than 250 color and black-and-white photographs--self-portraits, nudes, portraits of lovers, friends, strangers and the occasional street scene--all shot between 1991 and 2012, tracing a critical time during the development of the artist’s own voice and vision.